pushing an i.e.d.?

well, today didn’t turn out quite as expected…

…to say the least!

it’s my one day off at home (i always go see the ufc on one of my days, and tend to knock out a lot of austin errands in the process (as well as getting dragged in to work for a bit)) so i try to make the most of it domestically and decided to “start” with some yard work.

i put “start” in quotes ’cause between breakfast run and shop calls my planned 8am start to the yard was finally starting more like 11am or so. and then i noticed a wheel was loose, so i tightened it down, but in tilting it up i noticed really sludgy oil running out. “this thing is due for an oil change, i guess”, i thought to myself – i’ve never had to do an oil change on a lawn mower, but i guess there’s a first time for anything and as i bought it used who knows how the previous owner treated it, right?

i started to mow anyway but noticed the oil puddle growing. i had this problem with a previous mower and adding oil seemed to help so i did – but it didn’t help – in fact, it all started to leak and on top of that when i let go of the handle so it would stop, it didn’t. i took this as an omen to keep going, so i did…but then noticed the engine starting to sound off so i killed it by yanking the wire off the sparkplug and checked the oil…it was low, but far from at a cruicial stage. i could see where the leak was coming from and determined an o-ring would fix it right up so i went and got one, getting some oil in the process, which resulted in this rather redneck scene on my front porch:


with a quart of fresh 10W-30 and the leak fix it fired right up and while there was still a bit of an odd noise to it, i figured we were good and the oil just needed to circulate…

…shit, was i wrong.

less than ten minutes later there was a loud “pop” followed by a metallic-sounding “tick-tick-tick” wind down and i saw dirty oil sludge (what happened to all the fresh shit i has just put in?) gushing out the side. a quick inspection revealed this:


a hole, larger than a golf ball, in the side of the engine – and off to the right about two feet i found the shrapnel:


can you imagine if that shit had shot back into the gas tank or, possibly worse, into my shin? somebody must really like me up there…thanks liz! and i think this marks the end of the journey for my twenty dollar lawn mower i bragged about…

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